India set for media boom

01 August 2011

NEW DELHI: The media and entertainment sector is expected to witness rapid growth in India over the period to 2015, but some obstacles do remain.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the business services firm, estimated the category would grow by an average of 13.2% a year in India between now and 2015.

By this date, it will be worth 1.19 lakh crore rupees ($26.8bn; €18.7bn; £16.5bn), measured against 64,600 crore rupees last year, when the segment expanded by 11.2%.

"While there is good revenue growth, the challenge for the Indian industry would be how to make the growth profitable in all its constituents," Timmy S Kandhari, leader of PwC's Indian entertainment and media practice, said.

"Favourable government policies will help, but the industry does need to look at their own operating model such that sustained investment in the entertainment and media sector becomes possible."

TV is due to receive half of all revenues, including advertising and subscriptions, by 2015, as returns climb by 14.5% a year, taking the medium from a value of 30,650 crore to 60,250 crore rupees.

Television's market share is thus set to rise from 47% to 50% across the forecast period, although PwC suggested revenues per viewer are actually still quite modest given its enormous reach.

Distribution should contribute 62% of TV's income by 2015, with advertising on 33%, and content supplying a further 5%.

The surging popularity of the high-definition format, and the continuing draw of sporting events such as the Indian Premier League cricket, could both aid TV's development, PwC reported.

Kandhari said: "The buoyant advertisement spend will have to be supplemented with subscription growth for sustainable profitable growth in E&M revenues."

"Addressable digitisation in the broadcast space and focus on good content across sectors will go a long way in achieving this objective."

Print is predicted to see demand rise by 9.6% a year, to 28,200 crore rupees, improving on a starting point of 17,870 crore rupees.

Within this, newspapers are in line to enjoy a CAGR of 10.1%, as the medium remains considerably more resilient than has been the case in many other countries.

Magazines will register a 4.8% leap per year, largely as a result of falling cover prices and increased competition.

Radio is pegged to record an annual expansion of 19.2%, albeit to a relatively low 2,600 crore rupees, compared with 1,080 crore rupees in 2010.

Turning to advertising, revenues rose by 14.3% last year, standing at 24,750 crore rupees.

Looking forward, PwC predicted the web would be particularly strong during the coming five years, as brands boosting their ad budgets from 770 crore rupees to 2,400 crore rupees.

Outdoor should also yield an 11.4% lift every 12 months, attracting 2,400 crore rupees in 2015.

While digital technology is expected to exert a major impact in the next five years, the pace of change was anticipated to be slower than has often been observed elsewhere.

"The Indian consumer is yet to reap the benefits of the enhanced digital experience seen in other markets where smart devices and enhanced bandwidth speed prevail," said Marcel Fenez, global leader, entertainment and media practice, PwC.

"This is an issue highlighting the need for future infrastructure investment and the overall affordability of devices."

Data sourced from PricewaterhouseCoopers; additional content by Warc staff